The Horn Player

Last Thursday my family and I attended daughter #1's spring concert. It's always been an interesting concert that involves the bands of all three age levels: elementary, junior high and high school. Some years the three bands even play the same piece (but not this year). But this isn't a post about her wonderful performance. That's something I'll keep to myself and relish with joy.

Well, you all know how I feel about returning to my high school for musical events (for you newcomers, check out this post). Thursday was no different. I wanted to be anywhere but there, except for the fact that I knew it was important to my daughter. I was a bundle of nerves.

It turned out to be an incredibly cathartic experience. The high school concert band was simply astonishing. They performed a piece called Appalachian Morning (found here, but not by my Alma Mater[and not nearly the same as hearing it live]).

I was simply blown away. I closed my eyes without knowing it and was moved to tears. When it was over, I was truly surprised to find myself in an auditorium surrounded by people.

I have forgotten just about every good thing I had while involved in high school music. I have resisted exploring those memories and remembering those friends. I have focused so much of my high school memories on the unpleasant, the conflict, the pigeonholing, the self imposed labels.

Yet, in one evening, I was transported back twenty years and found myself in familiar, happy surroundings.

It has been a wonderful three years rediscovering music with the guitar. But, if I'm really honest, the French Horn will always be my first love, the instrument that first comes to mind when I think of my musicianship. I can't help it. I am a horn player first, despite the fact I haven't picked the dang thing up in over ten years.

Each band present their annual awards that evening. I was so happy for these young people. It was the Senior students' last performance and, as they came forward to be praised by their director, I felt envy. A quiet, happy envy, because I could still see in those seven kids the young man I had been.


  1. Saints and Spinners said...
    Good post! I just realized that I've never tried out a brass instrument.
    K. Jay said...
    Thanks S&S. Some of the best posts, I find, are the ones I just pour out and don't think too much about. This one was a great deal easier to write than a guitar lesson #26.

    I'm trying to remember what other instrument you said you played. Oboe? Clarinet? Xylophone?

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